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Bonefish Characteristics


Exerpts from Vic Dunaway’s popular fish identification book “Sport Fish of Florida.”


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OTHER NAMES : Silver Ghost, White Fox, Macabi

RANGE: The bonefish is a tropical species and is seriously fished only in the south end of Biscayne Bay, Greater Miami and the Florida Keys and also, of course, throughout the Bahamas and Caribbean. Stragglers are sometimes caught north of the preferred habitat, usually from the surf, although a few are taken from the Indian River. The Longfin variety is rare in Florida.

HABITAT: Bonefish do much of their foraging on shallow mud or grass flats, where they can be sighted and cast to. They also frequently gather in large schools over fairly deep, soft bottom, where their feeding stirs up patches of silt or "mud."

DESCRIPTION: Thick-bodied but streamlined. Dark back, usually greenish, and silver sides; pointed snout with underslung mouth; forked tail. A smaller and much lesser-known variety, the Longfin Bonefish, Albula nemoptera, looks almost identical, except for streamer-like extensions of its dorsal and anal fins.

SIZE: Common from 2 to 10 pounds; sometimes to 15 pounds, and possibly to 18 or 20. World record 19 pounds; Florida record 15 pounds, 6 ounces.


There is more information on this and other sport fish in "Sport Fish of Florida." This handy book features 231 species, all illustrated in full color. Also included for each fish are detailed ranges, habitats, game quality, food quality and record sizes.
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